“Estimates show 46.6 per cent of people in the State fit criteria for BPL”
A revised list of people living below poverty line (BPL) in West Bengal would be ready by June-end, said State Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee on Saturday.
He said the survey for the revised list was going on and the updated list would be sent to the Centre for approval.
“According to the Planning Commission, the percentage of people living below the poverty line in West Bengal is 28.3. However, our estimates show that about 46.6 per cent of people fit into the criteria of BPL,” said Mr. Mukherjee told The Hindu .
Pointing out the gap in the number of people who should be entitled to the benefits for families living below the poverty line and those who are actually receiving it at present, he said the State would get more funds if the revised list was accepted by the Centre.
Mr. Mukherjee said that 18 per cent people needed to be included in the existing list. “We can only send the revised list to Centre. But it has to approve it so that the benefits are extended to all those who fit the criteria,” he said. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has directed that the list should be prepared at the earliest.
Last week, Mr. Mukherjee held a meeting with State Finance Minister Amit Mitra to streamline the process and complete the survey by next month.
Ms. Banerjee had earlier called for “including all sections of poor in the revised BPL list” so that subsidised food grains reach all these families.
Citing irregularities in the BPL list prepared by the previous Left Front government, she had announced distribution of foodgrains to all families in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal region.
Along with the preparation of a revised BPL list, the State Government has also launched a drive to seize fake ration cards.
According to the State Food Department there are about 1.9 crore fake ration cards in the State of which 49 lakh have been recovered in the last one year.